Pakistani papers call for peaceful protests

Troops and crowds outside embassy
Image caption Troops were called in yesterday as protesters attempted to reach Western embassies

Pakistani papers called for peaceful protests in the wake of the cabinet's decision to announce "Yaum-e-Ishq-e-Rasool" (Day of Love for Prophet) today to give an opportunity to people to demonstrate against an anti-Islam film, which has sparked violent protests in the Muslim world.

Urdu papers called on the people to behave like "true followers" of the Prophet and show a "picture of peace and love to the world".

Condemning the film, English-language papers said that the "unbridled freedom of expression" in the West must be balanced by the responsibility to avoid "provoking sentiments" around the Muslim world.

Urdu press

Jang: "The federal cabinet by announcing 'Ishq-e-Rasool Day' today has given official status to the voice of the people for upholding the sanctity of the Holy Prophet Muhammad in Muslim countries, especially Pakistan… it is welcome that the federal cabinet took notice of the blasphemy and informed the world about the sentiments of the Muslims… However, the protests should avoid harming the properties of their own countrymen."

Khabrain: "It is a matter of satisfaction that the government has selected Friday for observing 'Ishq-e-Rasool Day', which is a true expression of love for the Holy Prophet. … our ties with the US and its allies in whatever shape can bear serious repercussions… We need to protect our frontiers, which have become insecure after the US invasion of Afghanistan… In the prevailing situation we need to show unity and solidarity and ensure protection of our national security."

Nawa-i-Waqt: "Today while observing "Ishq-e-Rasool Day", we should behave as true followers of the Holy Prophet. We should show the picture of peace and love to the world on this day. We should avoid responding to hatred with hatred. No doubt this is our best identity in light of the teachings of Islam."

English press

Daily Times: "While Pakistan attempts to cope with the explosive situation emerging at home, the 'freedom of expression' champions in the West continue on their reckless and provocative path… What the proponents of unbridled freedom of expression in the West either do not realize or do not give a fig about is the dialectical relationship between freedom and responsibility."

Pakistan Observer: "It is quite obvious that the West, led by the US, is deliberately provoking sentiments of the Muslim world… while the Islamic Ummah [Muslim community] is exhorting the need for inter-faith dialogue and harmony, the Western world is pursuing the path of clash of civilizations… there is, therefore, definitely need to counter these nefarious designs through collective will of the Muslim Ummah and the saner elements of the international community."

The Frontier Post: "Why it is always a Western state, and no other country, that provokes the religious sentiments of the Muslims around the world?... by not taking cognizance of the blasphemous and disgusting material, the Western powers are clearly playing with fire that may destabilize international order and endanger global peace."

The Nation: "It will be essential for protesters today to demonstrate peacefully and solemnly, in order to fend off criticism of the Muslim world as being unable to indulge in meaningful debate and instead resorting to violence…. We, as Muslims, are not taught to answer hate with hate; nor should we give anyone reason to believe otherwise."

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